CHRISTCHURCH - James Vince’s maiden T20I half-century, a flawless 38-ball 59, powered England to a comfortable seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the first T20I of the five-match series in Christchurch on Friday.
Jonny Bairstow plundered 18 runs off the third over, bowled by Scott Kuggelejin, in England’s chase of 154, but the hosts bowled as many as 21 dots in the first five, to keep themselves in the hunt. Mitchell Santner then struck in his opening over, removing Dawid Malan for 11, which brought out Vince. He played a cracking cut shot off the backfoot off the first ball he faced, to set the tone for a game-defining innings.
On a pitch that offered significant assistance for the spinners, the right-hander displayed excellent footwork against Ish Sodhi’s wrist-spin, striking fours both off the front-foot and from well within the crease. Martin Guptill, meanwhile, grabbed one of the many stunners he regularly does on the field, holding on to a well-timed slog sweep from Bairstow to limit him to 35. Vince, though, carried on and registered his maiden T20I fifty with a deft stroke towards third man. Santner (3/23), easliy the best bowler on show, revived hopes, removing Vince for 59, and conceded just two off the 16th over. But Morgan, alongside Sam Billings, finished the job with a four and a six off his opposite number Tim Southee, with nine balls to spare.
Earlier, a disciplined start with the ball from Engand’s bowlers meant that the hosts could score only 17 from the first four overs, after being put in to bat. Sam Currran, one of England’s three debutants, gave the visitors an early breakthrough, removing the dangerous Guptill for 2 in the third over. Colin Munro and Tim Seifert struck three sixes between them in the fifth, but the former’s dismissal on the last ball of the Powerplay, put them back on resurrection mode.
Colin de Grandhomme walked in at No.4, and looked good during his 14-ball stay, striking a four and a six, before dragging one straight to cow corner off Adil Rashid on 19, while Seifert’s innings was cut short by Chris Jordan on 32. The experienced Ross Taylor then held the innings together in the latter stages, and found great support in Daryl Mitchell, who breezed to a 17-ball 30*. New Zealand scored 48 off the last five to finish at 153/5, with Taylor (44) being the top-scorer. The second T20I will be played at Wellington’s Westpac stadium on Sunday, 3 November.
MJ Guptill b SM Curran 2
C Munro c Morgan b Jordan 21
TL Seifert c Bairstow b Jordan 32
De Grandhomme c Vince b Rashid 19
R Taylor c Bairstow b Brown 44
DJ Mitchell not out 30
MJ Santner not out 1
EXTRAS: (lb 3, w 1) 4
TOTAL: (5 wkts, 20 overs) 153
FOW: 1-6, 2-39, 3-72, 4-93, 5-149.
BOWLING: SM Curran 4-0-33-1, TK Curran 4-1-25-0, CJ Jordan 4-0-28-2, AU Rashid 4-0-31-1, PR Brown 4-0-33-1.
JM Bairstow c Guptill b Santner 35
DJ Malan c Sodhi b Santner 11
JM Vince c Guptill b Santner 59
EJG Morgan not out 34
SW Billings not out 14
EXTRAS: (w 1) 1
TOTAL: (3 wkts, 18.3 overs) 154
FOW: 1-37, 2-68, 3-122.
BOWLING: TG Southee 3.3-0-30-0, LH Ferguson 4-0-28-0, SC Kuggeleijn 3-0-35-0, MJ Santner 4-0-23-3, IS Sodhi 4-0-38-0.
UMPIRES: Shaun Haig, Wayne Knights
TV UMPIRE: Ashley Mehrotra
RESERVE UMPIRE: Kim Cotton